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Lake Michigan Great Lakes USA

See how Sandsaver™ renourished and protected a Lake Michigan church camp’s beachfront property using Sandsaver™.

Get ready to soak up the sun and dive into the crystal-clear waters of the Great Lakes, home to some of the most sought-after Northern beach vacation spots in the US! But, hold on tight, because there’s a catch. The Great Lakes are also notorious for their alarming coastal erosion rates, which can reach up to a staggering 50 feet per year in some areas, according to the US government.

This means that beach erosion is a major concern for Lake Michigan and all the other Great Lakes. From cozy vacation homes to luxurious resorts and bustling public beaches, everyone is affected by this issue. And with water levels reaching historic highs in recent years, property owners are scrambling to find a long-term solution to this problem.

But don’t let this deter you from enjoying the beauty and excitement of the Great Lakes! With a little bit of planning and some innovative solutions, we can preserve these stunning natural wonders for generations to come. So, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for an unforgettable beach vacation in the Great Lakes!

Sandsaver Lake Michigan Installation

The permits for the Lake Michigan installation were promptly approved by the state of Michigan, allowing the installation to proceed as planned without any significant issues. However, the permits at the Federal level faced an unexpected delay and took nearly a year to obtain approval. This delay resulted in a reduction of installation time, causing the total number of surveys completed to decrease from the originally planned 7 to only 5. This reduction in installation time by 33% had an impact on the overall results, especially considering the historically low water levels during that period. Nevertheless, the system managed to yield unequivocally positive results, as evidenced by the claims made by the third-party engineering firm responsible for conducting the studies and the final report.

Sandsaver installed Lake Michigan Great Lakes
Sandsaver installed on Lake Michigan breaking down wave energy

Sandsaver rebuilds lake michigan beach

the Sandsaver beach erosion barriers were carefully installed in Lake Michigan during a time of historically low water levels. The anticipation was palpable as everyone waited for the tides to come and go, bringing with them enough sand to eventually cover the modules and create a fresh layer of protection for the beachfront property.

Although the third party engineering report addressed the issue of low water levels, it would have been even more exciting to see the Sandsavers in action during the third year of the pilot installation, as the water levels began to rise. This would have given us an even better understanding of the barriers’ ability to protect and rebuild the beachfront.

Sandsaver's nearing covered in Lake Michigan
Sandsaver's near complete coverage on Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan beach erosion solution before, during and after

Below are the images taken from Google Earth, depicting the beachfront property in Lake Michigan before the Sandsaver beach erosion solution was implemented. Observe the severely eroded beach and the exposed coastline, which is at risk from the surging Lake Michigan waves encroaching upon the land and structures.


After the Sandsavers were set up, it didn’t take long to observe a noticeable increase in the amount of sand gathering along the Lake Michigan installation. The modules quickly displayed signs of accumulating sand on both the beach and surf sides. As depicted in the image provided below, the Sandsavers have greatly enhanced and widened the profile of the beach, as well as significantly improved the overall slope. This is due to the continuous accumulation of sand on the beach side of the Sandsaver beach erosion barriers. The difference in sand content is clearly visible at the location when comparing the images before the Sandsavers were installed (above) and after they were removed (below).

Sandsavers Installed Lake Michigan Beach
Sandsaver™ modules saving a Lake Michigan Beach

Imagine this: a groundbreaking system, designed to protect the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, faced an unfortunate setback. The pilot installation period was cut short by a whole year, all because of the bureaucratic red tape that consumed the US Army Corps of Engineers. As a result, the system was only able to be installed for a mere 66% of the originally planned duration. 

What a missed opportunity! That extra year could have brought even better results than we could have ever imagined. It could have offered greater protection to the cherished church champ, and it could have showcased the system’s incredible performance during periods of increasing or high water levels.

Take a look at the picture below. It captures the Lake Michigan location after the Sandsaver’s permitted installation time had come to an end, and the units had to be removed. It’s a heartbreaking sight, as you can clearly see that the erosion continued to wreak havoc on the beach, leaving it in severely eroded conditions. 

But let’s not forget the progress that was made during those couple of years of installation. The Sandsavers™, true to their name, managed to accumulate several thousand cubic yards of sand. It’s a testament to their effectiveness and their potential to make a real difference. 

If you’re curious to learn more about the system’s performance, I highly recommend diving into the third-party engineering report below. It’s a fascinating read that delves into the nitty-gritty details of how the Sandsavers™ fared in their battle against erosion. 

Let’s not dwell on what could have been. Instead, let’s focus on the lessons learned and the hope for a brighter future. With continued support and innovation, we can ensure that our beloved shores remain protected and pristine for generations to come.

Sandsavers Removed from Lake Michigan install